Leveraging almost two decades of experience in South Africa, and a presence in a further six African countries, networked key and equipment management solutions company Traka Africa announces an acceleration in its growth strategy. It plans to open new operations or expand more widely in five southern African countries, as well as into East Africa.
Craig Williams, Traka Africa general manager (left), with Nicolai van Zyl, Traka Africa business development manager.
Traka is the global leader in its market, having a presence in 40 countries through a combination of its own subsidiaries and local partners. Key and equipment management is a highly niche market that Traka Africa’s general manager Craig Williams estimates to be worth around R5-billion to R7,5-billion globally.
The African segment is approximately R350-million (though the largest chunk would be in South Africa). Capping a period of strong, 25% a year growth in the South African market over the past five years, Williams says Traka is expanding, having recently also launched a new automotive business unit in South Africa, Traka Automotive, focused on car dealerships in South Africa.
Traka Africa provides asset management solutions using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology particularly to the mining and petrochemical, banking and now automotive industries.
Nicolai van Zyl, business development manager for Traka Africa, adds: “Traka already operates in several countries outside of South Africa such as Rwanda, Kenya, Namibia, Swaziland, Botswana and recently Mauritius.”
He explains that Traka has built considerable expertise in supplying to the mining industry and in more recent years the banking and telecommunications industries and it is therefore a logical step to use this experience to grow its business in other African countries strong in those sectors. “We have identified various opportunities to launch into Africa, and will now be targeting countries with stable mining economies, such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mauritius and Botswana.
“We have also gained, in a relatively short time, a lot of influence and expertise in the vital banking and telecommunications sectors, which are major contributors in the economic growth of Africa at the moment, especially the rapidly growing sector of East Africa where there already existed fast fibre networks.”
The selection of individual countries has depended on a matrix of characteristics: tax, economics, logistics and business potential in each sector. “This reduced the options to just a handful of countries,” says Van Zyl. The equally exciting economies in North Africa are for the moment being neglected in the first wave of expansion as “too ambitious”, and to enable the company to focus on those it is more operationally ready for.